Free Shit

Belivers, A.A. Bondy’s latest album, has been impossible for me to review. I’ll first point out that I am in love with the album, but it’s different from every album I’ve listened to this year. It has a few songs that rise above others, like “Surfer King” and “Rte. 28/Believers,” but they serve as crests on the album’s waves that ebb and flow in a dream state. It’s played for months in my car, house, headphones and one day I found myself immersed.

The album’s sound is soaked in guitar reverb and awash in the warm rasp of Bondy’s vocals. Lyrically, the album is a puzzle. You’ll find very little that makes literal sense, leaving every turn of phrase open for interpretation. Let’s have a look at “Surfer King:”

Behind the red door, in American skin
There is a murder of roses
In the midnight hiss, come cover me there
For I am electric nothing

Out on the tide, strangers all
Are drowning by
Under eclipse, I wait for your kiss
With the beating of all…
These idiot hearts

And no more evil now, no horror sound
No maniac song from tyrant
And the surfer king will show me everything
In the great, green flash of the evening

Out on the tide, strangers we ride
Smoke in our eyes
Under eclipse, I wait for your kiss
With the beating of all…
These idiot hearts

And so goes the abyss that is lyrical beauty on Believers. This is a slight departure from the Folk/Americana style on Bondy’s two previous albums, but it’s a fantastic record that breezes by in the blink of an eye, filling your room with an atmosphere of warmth and calm. But that calm may be interrupted by feelings of trepidation. It’s the feeling of walking alone on a deserted city street, lit by moon or by a dim streetlight. You may check over your shoulder from time to time. You may feel as if you’re being watched.

If Believers doesn’t agree with you immediately, give it more time. It will slowly permeate your mind.

A.A. Bondy is in Chicago at Lincoln Hall tonight and we have a pair of tickets to give away. Email with your full name and “Bondy Giveaway” in the subject line to nab them. We’ll pick a winner at high noon.

A.A. Bondy – The Heart Is Willing

Dig into our Live Session with A.A. Bondy, if you haven’t already.



We have a pair of tickets to give away to a Chicago reader. Send an email to with your full name and we’ll respond if you’re the lucky winner.

David Bazan is the singer/songwriter behind Pedro The Lion and he recently released his second solo album, Strange Negotiations. His previous much heralded album, Curse Your Branches, was a cathartic album as Bazan battled his demons – mostly a worsening drinking problem and his skepticism at the Christian religion that he was raised into. His latest album is his first with a full band.

David Bazan – Wolves At The Door

Tour Dates:

06-07 Madison, WI – Annex
06-08 CHICAGO, IL – Lincoln Hall *
06-10 ST. LOUIS, MO – Old Rock House *
06-11 COLUMBUS, OH – Basement *
06-12 AKRON, OH – Musica
06-13 PONTIAC, MI – Pike Room
06-14 TORONTO, CANADA – Lee’s Palace
06-15 OTTAWA, CANADA – Mavericks
06-17 ITHACA, NY – Haunt
06-18 HAMDEN, CT – Space w/ Via Audio
06-19 CAMBRIDGE, MA – T. T. The Bear’s #
06-22 NEW YORK, NY – Bowery Ballroom #
06-23 PHILADELPHIA, PA – Johnny Brenda’s #
06-24 WASHINGTON, DC – Black Cat #
06-25 CHAPEL HILL, NC – Local 506 w/ Centro-matic, Sarah Jaffee
06-27 ORLANDO, FL – Social #
06-28 ATLANTA, GA – Earl #
06-29 BIRMINGHAM, AL – Bottle Tree #
06-30 NEW ORLEANS, LA – One Eyed Jacks #
07-01 BATON ROUGE, LA – Spanish Moon #
07-02 HOUSTON, TX – Fitzgerald’s &
07-03 DENTON, TX – Dan’s Silverleaf &
07-05 AUSTIN, TX – ACL Presents: Satellite Sets
07-07 TEMPE, AZ – Sail Inn &
07-08 SAN DIEGO, CA – Casbah &
07-09 LONG BEACH, CA – Alex’s Bar &
07-10 LOS ANGELES, CA – Troubadour &
07-12 VISALIA, CA – Cellar Door &
07-13 SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Independent   &
07-15 PORTLAND, OR – Mississippi Studios &
07-16 SEATTLE, WA – Showbox at the Market &
07/18 SEATTLE, WA – KEXP in-studio, noon PST

* w/ Cotton Jones
# w/ S. Carey
& w/ Rocky Votolato


The Decemberists have been kind enough to offer us a giveaway. If you’d like to win, email us at with “The Decemberists Giveaway” in the subject line and your name and mailing address in the body of your email.

One winner will get a Vinyl copy of The Decemberists new (amazing) album, The King Is Dead. You’ll also get a CD copy of the album and a DVD documenting the making of the album, called Pendarvia: A Film by Aaron Rose.

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The Black Angels and Black Mountain released new albums on September 14th and then joined forces on tour. We got our hands on a pair of free tickets to the show on Thursday at Metro in Chicago. Shoot us an email with your full name at to win!

The Black Angels will also be stopping in for a HearYa Live Session.

The Black Angels – Telephone

Black Mountain – The Hair Song

This contest is now CLOSED. Congrats to Matthew for winning.


Ryan Bingham and The Dead Horses Album Giveaway! [Free Shit]

August 25, 2010

Ryan Bingham has offered a free album to one lucky HearYa reader of our choosing.  All you have to do is email and say something nice – flattery will get you somewhere. Our complex selection algorithm will do the rest and find a worthy winner. Here are the details of the new album: Junky […]

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Win Free Pitchfork Festival Tickets! [Our Twitter and Facebook Giveaway]

July 15, 2010

We know it’s last minute, but we have a pair of Pitchfork Festival tickets to giveaway! These are for Sunday, July18th (these are not weekend passes).‚  If you’d like to win ’em, here’s what you need to do: Become a fan of HearYa on Facebook (Click that Like button) and/or Follow us on Twitter. Write […]

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Get The Dodos Free Live Album – Live From Akropolis, Prague

June 3, 2010

The Dodos have just released a free live album, The Dodos Live From Akropolis, Prague. You can download it from their website (or below) in exchange for your email address. When the band tours through your town, you’ll also automatically be entered to win a pair of tickets. Here’s also an mp3 from their album […]

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Free tickets to Jessica Lea Mayfield, The Dexateens, and Futurebirds @ Schubas tomorrow 5/20 [Chicago Giveaway]

May 19, 2010

Lots of free shit lately. We have a pair of tickets to giveaway for Chicago readers and fans of alt-country! Email us at to see Jessica Lea Mayfield, The Dexateens, and Futurebirds at Schubas tomorrow (5/20), free of charge. You can hear some tracks below and make sure to check out our live session […]

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Get Free Tickets to Local Natives @ Schubas 5/14, plus 7″! [Chicago Giveaway]

May 11, 2010

We have another giveaway for Chicago readers! Email us your name and address to to win a pair of tickets to see Local Natives at Schubas this Friday (5/14) at 10:30pm. There are two shows that night and this is the late show! The opener will be Frenchkiss label-mates, Suckers. As an added bonus, […]

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5 Free MP3 Compilations From Great Record Labels

March 29, 2009

Since we didn’t post very many mp3’s this week, I decided to put off the Sunday MP3 Roundup until next week.‚  Instead, here are some links to free 2008/2009 samplers on Amazon. Click on each to download a buttload of free music. And there’s only one more SxSW post coming up, then back to programming […]

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